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3-Sales Plan.doc

  1. 1. Sales Plan Sales Strategy [x] should be treated as a [long-term / short-term] product. [] If more than one, indicate for each long or short-term. [] Important! How long before product pays for itself? As such, the target market segments to focus on are [specific customers]. Because of [product]'s special market characteristics, [seasonal / geographic / etc., as mentioned in your Market Analysis] our sales strategy [includes / incorporates]: [] Briefly discuss how your sales strategy will address specific market / environmental conditions. Positioning [] How customers perceive your company and product, relative to competition. [] Product / Business / Industry leadership. [] Recommended reading: Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout. [] A User Focus Group may provide product information needed to position your product. Our [product, or similar / competition's product] is seen by the consumer as [customer's perception of your product]. Its unique advantages [technical, quality, performance] can be exploited to arrive at a winning position in the consumer's mind. In terms of market segmentation advantages, we can use [upscale consumers, ethnic appeal, etc.] to arrive at a winning position here. Repositioning our [product] as [example: from a cost to an investment, vacation becomes an "escape from civilization," etc.]. To be effective, [other products, services, people] depend on the presence of our [product]. We can reposition our competitors by [x]. [] What can be said / shown about a competitor's product that will change your customers' minds (about the competitor's product -- not yours)? The resulting Selling Basis for our product, then, is [x]. 1
  2. 2. [] This is your fundamental strategy for all of the advertising you do. [] Test the Unique Selling Basis to make sure that it is: Meaningful Believable Motivating Memorable Simple Logical Unique Pricing [] How do we set prices? Is there a policy? [] Is our pricing competitive? [] Is there perceived value (it costs more therefore it must be better) inherent in higher prices? [] Are prices based on costs -- standard markup? [] Why are they higher or lower than competing prices? [] How elastic (the effect of pricing on demand for product) is the market for these products? How does consumer preferences affect elasticity? The prices for our products are determined first and foremost by [competition, costs, suppliers, manufacturers, package deals]. It is important to know that [sliding scales, volume, regulated, competitive, perceived value], pricing is essential to our market profile. Compared to the competition, our prices are [x]. [] List examples of competitive pricing. [] Put copies of price comparisons and reports in the Supporting Documents. Different seasonal aspects of our market affect our pricing because [example: selling seasons]. We feel that our customers will pay $[x] because [purchasing rationale]. Margin Structure Retail 2
  3. 3. [] Ask friends / customers in retail management about quantities they are likely to buy. What discounts would entice them to order more? Distributor [] Ask regarding quantities their customers are likely to order and their Gross Profit Margins / Percentages. Manufacturer's Representative [] What percentage commissions do they make? Usually between 5 and 20%. Direct Sales [] Determine cost of each sale -- time and expense involved, package deals. Discounts We can take advantage of volume purchases by [x]. [] Volume discount is applicable if scheduled order is placed (For example; 1,200 units ordered for a year=100 units per month.) [] Are there discounts for paying cash or within [x] days? Cooperative advertising -- manufacturer pays 2-10% of purchases toward your advertising of their product. We plan to review our pricing and product / service margin every [x] [months]. [] Should a new pricing policy be investigated? Are potential profits being lost? Current Selling Methods [] Activities used in selling your product or service. [] Methods to promote product or service: direct calling, telephone, advertising, mail, radio, television, or other. [] Sample brochure or dummy, advertisements, announcements, or other promotional literature should be placed in the Supporting Documents. [] Margins of safety allowed in sales forecasts. [] Recommended Reading: How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins, International Market Press. Marketing Responsibilities [] Define who will be make these decisions: 3
  4. 4. New business development Dealer support and OEM support Sales-producing tools Corporate graphics standard Brand-name recognition Direct response promotion Telemarketing -- scripts / training Product position and identification Next Steps Based on the strategic plan, decisions that must be made now include [x]. The information needed to make those decisions is [x]. [] Data, research results, etc. Key decisions to be made in the near term [next six months] are [x]. [] Include decisions to be made after six months, but before the next fiscal budgeting process. The information needed to make both of these decisions with confidence includes [x]. [] Primary research projects (topic, time frame, budget). [] Secondary research studies (topic, vendor, time frame, cost). The most sensible research recommendations are to [x]. [] List questions you need immediate answers to. [] Use data collected from a focus group. [] Before proceeding further, review the marketing strategy statements you have made so far against the following tests: [] Are the strategies consistent with your evaluation of the marketplace and your capabilities? [] Is the return on marketing investment sufficient to justify the risks? What are the chances of a competitor executing a similar strategy? In that case, what would happen? [] Are the strategies consistent with the political environment within the company? [] Have you made sure your strategies are based on facts, and not assumptions? [] Does the overall strategy leave you critically vulnerable to a shift in market behavior? Are all your eggs in one basket? [] Is your appraisal of the competition open-minded and honest? [] Is your strategy legal? [] Is the success of your strategy based on your ability? What are the chances of failure? 4
  5. 5. [] Have you thoroughly examined alternative strategies? Do you have a sound, logical rationale for your recommendations? Distribution Channels [Company]'s marketing department plans to sell our [product] through several channels. The determining factors in choosing these channels are [x]. [] Customer profile [] Geography [] Seasonal variations [] Efficient use of funds [] Feasibility of using channels of similar products already on the market Key competition uses the same [x] distribution channels. Our mix of distribution channels will give us the advantages of [list advantages] over our competition. A partial list of [Company]'s major current customer include: [] List the top 5 to 10 customers. Our distribution channels include: Executive Sales [] This type of selling is usually most appropriate for very expensive products or services [executive jets, yachts and large estates come to mind] where it is important to deal principal to principal when negotiating the sale. Because our customers tend to be top corporate managers, it is important that our company president and senior managers present our product to our customers. Direct Sales The majority of [Company] sales will be handled internally through direct sales by our staff. [Company] anticipates hiring [x] additional sales representatives to [cover additional territories, retailers, distributors, markets, sell specific products]. [] Include Organizational chart in Supporting Documents. We have chosen to use a direct sales force because our products require considerable customer education and post-sales support -- directly from the company. 5
  6. 6. Our price point, pricing structure and profits are such that our costs of sales warrants "person-to-person" selling strategy. Manufacturer Representatives Because manufacturers' representatives carry several product lines that are compatible with ours, we feel that it would be appropriate to select manufacturers representatives carrying [x], and ...[complementary and compatible products -- automotive products to parts stores, marine supplies to boat dealerships, etc.]. Also, manufacturers selling [dissimilar products yet appropriate to their customers', customer -- publishers selling computer software to bookstores...] [] Contact customers and retailers and ask them whom they would recommend to represent your product. (Firms and people they respect and use.) [] See also Advertising and Promotion, Direct Mail to locate appropriate reps for your firm. Distributors One of the key elements designed into the [Company] marketing plan is the targeting of our distributors. We will select distribution channels already in existence and staffed with professionals possessing appropriate backgrounds and clientele. [Company] products are very pertinent to the nature of distributor's business and to the well-being of their customer base. Also, it is significantly less difficult for us to reach these people and educate about the benefits available in using [product]. This strategic marketing approach takes full advantage of the fact that these professionals are already involved with parallel products and services. They already have a track record of experience. By operating within these distribution channels in this manner, we can maintain control of our market. In addition, we can generate growth at a reasonable pace and obtain excellent sales results. [] Distributors must mark up your prices 15-30% to their retailers. Your sales revenue will have to be reduced in order to allow distributors their profit margin. [] Consider using advertising and direct mail to locate appropriate distributors. Retailers [] What Dealers Want From Manufacturers: Price Point -- attractive and reasonable Profit Margin -- worthy of sales emphasis Technical Support -- accurate and immediate response Quality -- design, construction and packaging Advertising and Public Relations -- customer awareness and demand 6
  7. 7. Effective Sales Materials -- ease and expedite sales process Competitive Advantages -- features and benefits Stocking and Delivery -- available when needed Market Stability -- maintain profit margins and market position Possible Retail and Wholesale Outlets include: [] The SIC Code (Standard Industrial Code) referenced in the table below is available at your library. Store type Total SIC Code Department Stores 23,275 5311 Garden Supply Stores 16,496 5261B Hardware Stores 40,140 4251 Giftware Wholesalers 3,524 5199G Electrical Equipment Wholesaler 41,313 5063 Total 124,748 [] Collect mailing list catalogs -- look at all the possible outlets for your product or service. [] Look in your Telephone Directory's Classified Advertising under Mailing Lists. [] Complete the chart above -- the list may prove to be a valuable resource for resellers. [] List any national or regional chains or independent stores that currently carry could carry your product. OEMs With Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) we can incorporate our [product] into their product line by [explain how your product can be included within theirs -- they sell your outboards with their boats, your windshield wipers with their cars]. For manufacturers of [their biggest system / product] we can sell [product] as part of their [x]. We can also provide a private-label line as an additional product for [x] distributors. [] See Joint Marketing Agreements in the Company Overview section, to include in your Marketing Plan. Direct Response Mail We will be exploring the benefits of incremental, coordinated direct mail programs in the [example: last two quarters of 19[xx]. We anticipate a strong profit potential as we strengthen our direct response capabilities. We will be approaching this scientifically, as we improve our customer targeting ability. We propose [example: two 50,000 piece campaigns, each preceded by a 5,000 piece test]. 7
  8. 8. All direct mail activities this year will be directed to our existing customer base. In addition, we will [example: test external lists]. Telemarketing [] Look in your telephone directory under Direct Mail for mailing houses. Some also handle inquiries, and others provide an 800 number. We will use an [in-house / contract] telemarketing service to perform the following functions. Provide outside sales support [] Literature mailing [] Follow-up calls [] Order entry Respond to inquiries [] Order entry [] Literature mailing [] 800# Order / Support Hotline [] Marketing research Generate New Business [] Contact distributors, retailers, customers. [] Schedule appointments. [] Write a comprehensive telephone script that everyone can use when responding to inquiries. [] Carefully address each issue [questions, objections, etc.] [] Write out your responses as you would say to them. [] Practice with a tape recorder, or call your own answering machine -- keep adjusting it until you would. [] Distribution opportunities. [] If available, include a chart of CDI / BDI (Category Development Indices / Brand Development Index) performance. [] What is our ACV (All Commodity Volume) distribution? The competition's? 8
  9. 9. International Market [] It is important to consider your worldwide opportunities from the start. [] List target countries in order of priority Rationale Language Usage of product [] See Advertising and Promotion, Selling Tactics, and Distribution sections for detailed plans of action. Method The primary means of distribution will be [x]. [] How your products are (can be) distributed. [] Make a chart to show how they get to the end-user consumer. Additional channels planned are [x]. An important advantage to these alternate channels is flexibility. By using more than one method, [Company] will have more control and also more to respond to special needs and circumstances. Other features of our secondary channels are low cost, quick start-up, increased capacity. Coverage Regional target areas are [where you will begin sales]. Reports indicate that these areas generate the highest level of consumer interest. Because our distribution network is [already set up or in use, easy to implement, cost- efficient, etc.] we can enjoy [national / international] delivery immediately. This, in turn, will reduce shipping time and increase customer satisfaction. To date, [many of, [x] of, none of] our competitors are able to achieve this. Product Roll-out Program We have selected from [x] key market areas. [] Areas based on proximity -- easy to sell into, contact, deliver to, have customers come to. Manufacturers' Representatives we have chosen are: 9
  10. 10. Name Territory Type [ABC Sales] [Western U.S.A.] [Marine Supplies] Distributors we have chosen are: Name Customer Type [DEF Distribution] [4,500] [Sailboat Dealers] Retailers we have chosen are: Name Number of Outlets Type [GHI Stores] [31 in So. California] [Sailboat Dealer] There are [x] number of dealers in each region. [] List regions in order of roll-out sequence. [] List key distributors, retailers, etc. in each as top priority. Trade Incentives [] Allowances, Co-op Accruals, Warehouse Flushing Promotions, etc. Customer Service Our customers emphasize that service and support is one of their major concerns. They are constantly impressed with the support we provide. Hot-line service is currently available to all customers enrolled in a maintenance / support program. We intend to provide free pickup and delivery for customers in the [x] areas by using [our own trucks / couriers]. The purpose for this service is to assure customer satisfaction and loyalty allowing us to increase sales as well as maintaining a high profile within our service area. Another service to add value is to provide warehousing of customer inventory. This allows us to book larger orders and provide faster order response. Support to manufacturers' representatives will allow them to perform efficiently as a sales force. We intend to treat the manufacturers' representatives as an extension of the [Company] direct sales force, and they will be given the same support as the [Company] internal sales staff. Technical backup to OEM support groups is currently supplemented by [Company]. The OEM staffs respond to the needs of their customers, and when they encounter a support issue that requires more information, they may direct their customer to [Company] or they may contact [Company] to obtain the necessary information. 10
  11. 11. Technical support to marketing and sales functions will be strengthened. Pre- and post- sales situations involving the application, presentation, and demonstration of [products] will be supported by [staff]. Returns and Adjustments Policy At this time, general trade customs for handling returns are [describe how returns are generally handled]. We will use the following policies: "If for some reason [x] is not right for your business you may return it for a full refund within 30 days of receipt of product. You must call [enter phone number] for a Return Authorization number [RA#]. Refunds are made only on the price of the package plus applicable taxes and do NOT include shipping costs." "Credit card refunds are credited to your account and cash / check payments are refunded within 30 days of receipt of returned merchandise in good condition with RA#." We intend to [follow / depart from] industry custom by implementing a returns and adjustments policy whereby [explain your plan and how it will work]. Our reasons for [following / departing from] customary procedures are [give reasons -- advantages, benefits for you and your customers]. 11